Pro Peace Rally

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: 03 March 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: Pro Peace Rally

By Tom Goodwin on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 3:54 pm: Edit Post

In 1965, US Marines stormed the streets of Santo
Domingo claiming to offer democracy to the Dominican people and dispel a threat to U.S. security mainly socialism. Institutionally, Peace Corps at the time was, among other things, a peaceful tool in the Cold War to combat the proliferation of communism. So, one might consider it valiant and ironic that the PCVs in
the DR in 1965 stood up for the same communists that the U.S. Marine Corps was attacking. As U.S. soldiers killed Dominicans in the streets of Santo Domingo, PCVs treated the wounded and dying on the other side of the battle lines, within enemy territory. To those volunteers the subversive nature of the Pentagons politics didnt matter as much as the fact that their neighbors were dying and they were on humanitarian mission. Regardless of whether the same government who was paying them was on the other side of the battle lines, they stood up for their neighbors, not their government. For that they are heroes.

Today the US government claims that a new threat exists, neither from the DR nor communists, but from another peasant country and terrorists. The U.N. estimates that 500,000 Iraqi citizens will die when the U.S. invades Iraq. Of those half a million corpses, it is unlikely that Saddam will be one of them. The Bush administration has openly stated its intent to use depleted uranium weapons and possibly nuclear arms in this attack. These bombs will all say MADE IN THE USA. With inspectors making progress, our country is beginning to look like the tyranny, not that glimmer of freedom. As Iraq recently began to destroy medium range weapons in the presence of U.N. inspectors, Colin Powell said that this effort was the grand mother of all distractions. Curious indeed.

Most of us, as PCVs, carry some sort of hope that there are more viable solutions to problems than warfare. However, if we dont exercise our rights as Americans to express our views, perhaps we are more a part of the problem than a solution to it. There is a chance to offer support to Iraqi Civilians in a direct fashion, albeit faraway.

If you are of the opinion that:

--A call for peaceful solutions is not idolatry for Saddam,

--Weapons inspections save lives,

--War is not a means to achieving peace,

We encourage PCVs to hold pro-peace rallies ON MONDAY, MARCH 31st for a peaceful protest in favor of continuedinspections, safety for Iraqi women and children, and upholding international law against a preeminent strike. Bring positive slogans, hope, and host nationals for peace. We ask that you do not harass or obstruct Embassy vehicles, guards, or workers and that you accept the fact that this is a personal decision and not an official PC function (i.e., don't mobilize in the PC office, use PC materials, etc). It is our right as Americans to assemble peacefully. Hopefully several countries will be able to hold demonstrations. The logistics will be difficult so if you are against the war and think PCV demonstrations will help than contact PCVs. Contribute in a way that you can.

Aaron Kauffman
Aarón Drendel
Tom Goodwin

By peter paul scallan on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 5:43 pm: Edit Post

Thank God people are still able to offer their opinion! With this new wonderious Home Land Security Bill I am suprized that you are not told what to say. As we persue war in Iraq, Isrelies and Palestines kill each other and the Home Country of the majority 9-11 Terrorist are still able to foment more misery with their money. On top of this the economy in this country goes to hell. It Is the Economy, STUPID!!

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